Five Intriguing Games This Weekend – From the Bird’s Nest
This week is kind of anticlimactic after the incredible matchups a week ago, and won't be as good as what we'll have next week.
But there are still games that mean something, especially in the Group of Five, where a big payday awaits someone.
Here's what we'll be following this weekend
SMU (6-4, 3-3) (+13) at (21) MEMPHIS (8-1, 5-1) 11 am, ESPNEWS--Right now, UCF has the best ranking in the Group of 5. Who's second? That would be Memphis. The Tigers have a struggling East Carolina team next week and that makes this one really big. A win locks up the West Division of the American and sets up a championship game with either UCF or USF. The Tigers have it all in front of them. But first things first.
(24) MICHIGAN (8-2, 5-2) (+7) at (5) WISCONSIN (10-0, 7-0) 11 am FOX--Finally a test for the Badgers, who have rolled through their schedule, including the weaker Big Ten West Division. Say what you want about Wisky's schedule, this team is very, very good defensively. Obviously a must win if the Badgers want to remain relevant in the College Football Playoff race. It will be interesting to see how Jim Harbaugh's club moved the football against this defense. If he's been watching video of Wisconsin's total domination of Iowa, he's having nightmares. (The over/under in this game is 39...unheard of in today's college football).
FRESNO STATE (7-3, 5-1) (-1') at WYOMING (7-3, 5-1) 1:00 pm AT&T SportsNet/Rocky Mountain--Lots of layers to this one. Fresno locks up the West Division with a win and also locks up Boise State in the East. A Wyoming win sets up a showdown between Fresno and Boise next week, where the loser is probably eliminated from the title game. The availability of Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen (listed as questionable) might be the difference here. This is as big a game as there is this week. Oh...Boise still has its sights set on a New Year's Six bowl.
TEXAS A&M (6-4, 3-3) (+2') at OLE MISS (5-5, 2-4) 6:00 pm, ESPN2--No one can deny Matt Luke has done a commendable job under very difficult circumstances at Ole Miss...and there is some support for him getting the interim tag off his name at the end of the season. But to have a chance for that, he's got to get this one and then the Egg Bowl against Mississippi State. A win this week, next week at LSU and a bowl win may or may not be enough for Kevin Sumlin. But this is an elimination game...for the coaches.
FIU (6-3, 4-2) (+14') at FAU (7-3, 6-0) 6:00 pm--There's no division title at stake, as the Owls have already clinched the East. But, two schools that have been at or near the bottom of CUSA the last few years are first and second in their divisions. Regardless of what you think of them, both Lane Kiffin and Butch Davis have led their teams to pretty remarkable turnarounds in just one season. This week they meet head to head.